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Rakkam warns of legal challenges if reservation policy is changed

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SHILLONG, June 25: Amid the ongoing row over the review of Sate Reservation Policy, NPP leader and Cabinet Minister Rakkam A Sangma, on Tuesday, warned that any changes to the policy would face serious legal challenges.
“In view of the clear constitutional provision and Supreme Court judgment about the 50 per cent ceiling for any state, I think any changes may attract serious legal scrutiny,” Sangma stated. He was responding to a query regarding whether the reservation policy contributed to the NPP’s defeat in the recent Lok Sabha elections, as suggested by former NPP president Dr WR Kharlukhi.
Sangma acknowledged that the reservation policy issue did play a role in the NPP losing the two Lok Sabha seats, but he also noted that the policy has been misunderstood  and misinterpreted by some political parties.
He recalled that the reservation policy was established just nine days before Meghalaya attained statehood on January 12, 1972, due to rising unemployment. He emphasised that unemployment is a global crisis and any change to the reservation policy could be disastrous for the state.
Highlighting that the government has formed an expert committee to gather views and suggestions from all stakeholders, Sangma said, “Let’s wait for the expert committee’s recommendations, but any adverse changes will be a great loss for the indigenous people of the state.”
He expressed concern that if the constitutional provisions and Supreme Court judgment on the 50 percent reservation ceiling were applied, it would be detrimental to the state. The government will consider the expert committee’s suggestions before making any decisions, he added.

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